Monday, July 23, 2007

Anchorage School District Middle School Math Textbook Adoption

According to their website, the Anchorage School District has adopted MathScape as their 6-8 grade math text book.

Of course there was never any doubt about whether they were going to adopt "reform" math. The four choices they had to decide upon were, Connected Math, Math in Context, MathScape, and Math Thematics. I suppose it was just a matter of figuring out which one was the fuzziest.

According to the School District memorandum, here are some of the strengths of the program (emphasis mine)

The program provides the following for the needs/rights of students:

• know the purpose of learning, including objectives, standards, goals, criteria and evaluation rubrics
• choose from a variety of strategies to explore, solve, and communicate math concepts
• engagement through a variety of activities, which may include independent projects, cooperative learning, manipulatives, technology, collaborative work, etc.
feel connected and free to take risks
• a belief that math can be learned
• opportunities for self-monitoring and self-reflection
• make connections to real life applications
• support at individual learning levels

• Teacher makes meaningful connections between math and real-life.
• Teacher has high expectations for success and achievement for all students.
• Teacher uses a variety of instructional and assessment strategies (differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, exploration & learning extensions, use of manipulatives and technology, and other best teaching practices).
• Teacher clearly states classroom expectations, and content and language objectives. • Teacher provides time for student reflection & meta-cognition.
• Teacher communicates with and is available to parents and students.
• Teacher receives appropriate and ongoing professional development & training (knowledgeable of pedagogy, content, and vertical alignment of curriculum).
• Teacher is provided adequate time and opportunity for grade-level and vertical collegial collaboration and support.
You notice there is nothing about fluency, mastery, clear examples, computation, standard algorithms, etc...

What do you expect from a school district that uses Everyday Mathematics?